The Indian team led by Virat Kohli paid their tribute to outgoing England batsman Alastair Cook by giving him a guard of honour as he walked out to bat in the fifth and final Test at the Oval.
Virat Kohli lost his fifth toss in a row and was forced to bowl first at an Oval track which looked a beautiful track to bat on. Joe Root went in with an unchanged side, while India made a couple of changes to the squad. R Ashwin was declared unfit and Ravindra Jadeja was given his first game of the series. Hardik Pandya was also left out and Hanuma Vihari made his debut.
ECB commemorates Alastair Cook
Few minutes before the toss, ECB chairman Colin Graves presented Cook with a commemorative cap bearing the number 161 - the final tally of Cook's Test caps - in a squad huddle with the rest of the team.
Cook will retire after having scored the most number of Test runs for England. He also led England to twin home Ashes triumph as well as a memorable series win in India back in 2012.
"I feel quite calm and as if a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. It's been nagging at me for the past six months or so and then there were a couple of moments where the decision made itself. Even if I had scored more runs in this series against India, I'm not sure I would have carried on playing," Cook told reporters two days after announcing his retirement.
The biggest criticism in Alastair Cook's career has been the handling of Kevin Pietersen after the 2013 Ashes debacle. The former captain now hopes that the rift can be handled more amicably now that he has called it a day.
"I was involved in the decision at first, but the England captain doesn't have the final say on hiring and firing. I agreed with it, but I said 'why don't we give him some time off, we can go away and maybe KP can come back later on'," Cook added.
England would now look to win the fifth and final Test match and claim the series 4-1 and captain Joe Root said that his team wants this scoreline as it would be a decisive statement.